Are you someone who, before consuming them, would look at the nutritional content of all food products and ponder if you are eating right? Will it inspire you to teach people the best eating patterns and nutrition? If so, you’d be enjoying a career as a dietician.
Dieticians are counsellors who assess and analyze individuals’ eating patterns and further guide them to eat a healthy diet according to different dietary and wellness standards. They work with diet research and apply their skill to health care and recovery.
Being a dietician provides a wide array of options. Dietitians are needed not only in the above-mentioned hospitals and nursing homes, but in other facilities such as schools, jails, general health clinics, and other locations that provide many people with food. As a dietitian, this ensures that to ensure you love what you do, you can choose and select from multiple specializations, environments, and even communities.
As a dietician, you will directly influence the diets of individuals which, in exchange, directly affect their general wellbeing. This can be a perfect mix for someone interested in food science and medicine.
Becoming a Dietician
Dietitians are certified practitioners who help create better dietary habits for their patients in order to develop healthier bodies. In a lot of environments, they deal with all sorts of individuals. A career as a dietician can be the right choice for you if you’re intrigued by food science, healthy living, and how the body functions.
Stream/Subjects in Class 12th
However, the science stream (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) is highly recommended, since it opens up a broader variety of classes and job possibilities. You can take any stream in your 12th year. Taking Biology as a subject would also help you create a basis with an emphasis on human physiology.
Courses in Graduation
In order to become a dietician in India, there are different courses that you can take during your graduation, such as B.Sc Fitness, B.Sc Home Science, etc. Merit is the criterion of entry to all these undergraduate programs.
1. B.Sc. / B.A. Nutrition:
It is a three-year course focusing on a broad range of subjects, such as human physiology, dietary fundamentals, biotechnology of foods, fitness, techniques for weight loss, human sciences, etc. The degree focuses not only on general health but also offers specialization in fields such as environmental health, diet for mothers and infants, etc. You will also be introduced to food processing methods, food and consistency research, bakery fundamentals, etc. At the conclusion of the course, you will be qualified to prepare diet charts and focus independently on weight loss plans.
2. B.Sc. Food Technology:
It is a 3-year course dedicated to the healthy use of fruit. Food processing is the method in which the collection, preservation, packaging, and healthy delivery of food are applied to common concepts of food science. You will be introduced to the fundamentals of food technology, food science values, diet, food manufacturing and engineering, food storage, and so on during the course. Food safety monitoring and assessment is another critical field in which you will be qualified. This course will allow you to appreciate the science behind nutrition and food, and will also open up a large variety of possibilities beyond nutrition.
Courses in Post Graduation
You can opt for postgraduate diplomas in fitness and dietetics (such as a Post-Graduate Diploma in Dietetics & Public Health Nutrition) or a Master’s Degree in Food & Nutrition following graduation. To have an advantage over those in the work industry, it is strongly advisable to seek your Master’s. The degree, both in the form of internships and studies, gives you theoretical expertise and practical experience. The subjects are taught in greater depth as well.
1. M.Sc in Food and Nutrition:
Post-graduate courses give you the ability to select your speciality from diverse food and nutrition areas, such as professional health, children/adolescents, environmental health, food production, etc. The course focuses on advanced human nutrition, food science, quality management, clinical nutrition, etc. Completing an internship for 6-8 months is mandatory. In various locations, you will be made to work and attend intensive preparation.
A very big and critical aspect of the course is indeed the dissertation. A dissertation is a brief thesis where you pick and perform research on a subject of your interest. It will give you an introduction to the testing side of the industry, giving you an opportunity to experience what you are learning in your books actually. Admission to the various postgraduate programs is carried out by the respective colleges by entrance examinations.
2. Post Graduate Diploma:
In general, postgraduate diplomas are 1-year-long and highly detailed. The basics of nutrition, public nutrition, clinical nutrition, public health nutrition, and institutional food preparation will be exposed to you in these classes. There are distinct course systems in various schools, but these are some of the core elements of those courses. Many of them finish with a compulsory internship at a health centre for 7-8 weeks. Admission to PG Graduation programs is merit-based.
A postgraduate diploma is appropriate in most situations, but if you wish to research in-depth and perform a dissertation at your postgraduate level, then a better choice would be an M.Sc. A PG Diploma is appropriate if you are only trying to receive the Registered Dietician License.
How to Become a Registered Dietician
You can be appointed as a Nutritionist after finishing the graduation and post-graduation/PG diploma. It is required to register as a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association in order to be considered a dietician.
You are expected to pass the entrance exam administered by the Indian Dietetic Association to qualify as a Registered Dietician (IDA). You should have completed either a Nutrition & Dietetics Post Graduate Diploma or an M.Sc. To be prepared for the test of Food & Nutrition, followed by a six-month internship following graduation.
The examination is split into 2 parts. Paper-1 encompasses fields such as human physiology, biochemistry, disease physiological and biochemical changes, food microbiology, hygiene, and sanitation, etc. Human Wellbeing and Meal Management, Group Nutrition, Nutritional Therapy (Theory), Nutrition Education, and Dietetic Counselling and Management of Food Resources are part of Paper-2.
The next question that may have emerged in your head now that you know about the road to become a dietician is whether the profession has sufficient career as a dietician prospects after graduation. In the next segment, in separate places, we will discuss the scope of a dietician.
Dietician and Nutritionist – Difference
The phrases Dietician and Nutritionist are used interchangeably by certain persons, but their work responsibilities and professional backgrounds are distinct. Nutritionists are consultants who counsel individuals on the forms and volume of food consumption actually needed to raise or decrease their body weight.
Dietitians, on the other hand, are specialists who guide patients about the proper kinds of food consumption (medical patients in hospitals, nursing homes, etc.). Individual healing from a car crash, for instance, would have different needs from those suffering from cancer. They are nutrition specialists for various types of individuals, especially clinical patients. Dieticians are able to work as nutritionists, but nutritionists are unable to work as dieticians.
Once you know what dieticians do, it is important to learn how you can get an individual practice license, which can eventually help you develop your career as a dietician.
Scope for Dieticians
- Clinical Dieticians: In health care environments, such as hospitals, nursing care homes, etc., they work with patients to encourage them to sustain their food intake. For example, by consuming the correct amount of nutrients, a clinical dietician might help cancer patients to preserve their wellbeing.
- Pediatric Dieticians: They deal with children of all ages, such as babies and teenagers, and provide them with good diet guidance. They will either operate in hospitals or start up a practice that is autonomous.
- Sports and Health Dieticians: Different sporting clubs, sports hostels, and athletic teams operate with them. Both to preserve their weight and body muscle and to keep their eating levels in order. They make food schedules for sports personnel.
- Research and Development: Dieticians should also work to ensure the consistency and nutritious content of food products in the area of science. They work in laboratories and study the impact on the body of multiple types of diet forms. The nutritive elements of food are the primary area of focus. The effects of such research activities are also used to assist dieticians in their practice.
- Academics: They teach and pass on their understanding of nutrition to aspiring dietitians at different schools and universities. They serve at school as teachers of Home Science or as lecturers in schools.
- Community Dieticians: Dieticians will also collaborate with different exercise centres, government programs, public health departments, to teach people about healthy nutrition and eating a good diet to avoid diseases. For broad numbers and cultures, they work.
There is no question that career as a dietician can be as laborious to become a dietitian and then adopt it as a career as a dietician as any other task out there that needs diligence and commitment in life. Nevertheless, the recent societal change that has made us more mindful of the food we eat has raised the need for good nutritionists. We are more mindful of our food habits than ever before and want to go after the finest sustenance available on the market. We want to live a better, smarter, more active, and disease-free life. In our everyday lives, all of this has amplified the position of dietitians.